Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Random Thoughts

*I haven't read any of the Twilight books. This didn't bother me until yesterday when my best friend phoned and was telling me all about them. She (ahem) kinda likes the series. I tend to avoid anything surrounded by hype, but now I feel like I'm totally missing out on something. She has promised to send them to me and I'm anxiously awaiting the arrival of the box. It will be nice to have a clue about what the rest of society is talking about. (Also, don't take from this that I'm picking on my friend for loving the books, or that her chatter about them irritates me. It doesn't in the least. And besides, she has more than done her time by listening to me rant and rave for years about various Baldwins. I owe her.)

*Jay and I found this cute little desk on our latest Sunday drive.It was covered in about six coats of paint and the legs were oddly long. Jay sanded it a bit and chopped a few inches off the legs and now it's a perfect sized art desk for the girl. I love all of its imperfections. Plus, I think it fits our house better than the clunky metal table she was using as an art desk.

* I have become slightly addicted to the TLC show What Not to Wear. I've always sorta liked the show, but my mom and I have recently discovered that it appears to be on all day on Saturday and we are finding it hard to do anything else but watch it hour after hour. Laundry goes unwashed and children go hungry while we sit there and get fashion, hair, and makeup tips. My mom and I even have a mental list of people we should nominate to be on the show.

*I haven't turned my sewing machine on in over a week. I really want to get to crafting, yet I'm enjoying hanging out with the kids, playing games and just doing nothing. (And watching hours of What Not to Wear.)

Monday, December 29, 2008

2009 Resolutions

I've never really been one for making New Years Resolutions. I always thought that if I wanted to do something, I'd just set my mind to it and do it---why do I need a special day to resolve to do it? But my mind has changed a bit. There are some things I want to accomplish this year and I thought the beginning of the new year would be as good a day as any to put the gears in motion. It seems like a proper starting point.

Jay and I have, as a couple, decided to put an immediate halt to all (ok, most) credit card usage. I honestly have mixed feelings about this one and am not quite sure how long it will last, but we are going to do our best to last as long as possible. But even if we do succumb, I think that we have a different mindset about spending than we did in the past and I truly believe that we will never go back to the way we were. In the past, if we were bored we'd go to the mall. Or go buy a video game. We'd get that instant high and then be bored again once it wore off. Then the cycle would start all over. We are aware of our mistakes and are learning from them.

We are big sale shoppers. Sales aren't necessarily bad things, but they can be if you find yourself buying items you wouldn't normally buy if they weren't 75% off, which is a trap that Jay and I fall into a lot. We tend to stock up. Oh, these tee shirts are $6.99? Buy one in every color! J. Crew has an extra 20% off already clearanced merchandise? Buy it all! You get the idea.

Another snare that tends to get us is that when we internet shop, we can't buy just one thing because the thought of paying shipping and handling on one item really irritates us. So we end up clicking around the website until we've found $150 worth of merchandise or whatever magic number gets us free shipping. This is silly. If I only want to buy a $25 item, that's all I'm going to buy.

To go along with the personal credit halt, Jay and I have vowed to not buy any new clothes for ourselves at all in 2009. (Possible exceptions being undergarments and socks.) Because of the bad behaviour mentioned in the above paragraphs, this shouldn't be a big deal. Neither of us need anything. On the off chance that one of us wants to revitalize our wardrobe, we're just going to have to schlep to the Goodwill or a thrift store. Thrifted and used items are allowed.

As much as I'm scared by the idea of not using credit, I'm also beyond excited about it. I think it will do us some good to really think about every purchase we make and decide if we truly need it.

Of course, I do have some more personal resolutions that aren't related to money:

*I want to continue reading a lot. I'm setting my goal for this year at 35 books. I think this number is challenging, but will also give me enough time to actually enjoy every book I read.

*I really, really want to make the nutcracker doll on the cover of Stitched in Time:
I would love to be able to give these dolls as gifts, especially to one little gal in particular who lives in my house. At the beginning of Stitched in Time, Alicia Paulson writes, "Most of the projects in this book can be finished in a weekend or two by anyone with a basic knowledge of sewing."

So yes, I figure giving myself an entire year to complete the doll is probably the correct amount of time.

*Finally, I want to say Yes to the kids more. Not like, Yes, I'll buy you that toy, or Yes you can have 12 cookies. More like Yes, I'll paint/color/play a board game/go for a bike ride with you. I've noticed I say No a lot. Or maybe later. I really should be saying Yes more.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Eating

For the last month and a half there has been a lot of tasty food in my house. Surprisingly, I haven't gained any weight but if I continue at the rate I'm going, I'm sure I'll be porking up soon enough. My eating habits are so out of control that on the off chance there isn't some culinary delight waiting for me, I have taken to eating anything and everything that is handy.

Here are three weird things I have eaten lately:

*Uncooked StuffingI wanted something salty to snack on while playing Othello with the boy and this was the closest thing to snack food that I could find. Not all that good. I don't recommend this one.

*Applesauce and Saltines. Together. In the same bowl. I've actually liked this since I was a kid and I really don't consider it weird, but judging by the looks I get when eating it, others do.

*A bead I found under the couch that I mistakenly thought was a Skittle. My bad.

Considering I now have the dietary habits of a Roomba, this is officially day one of the back to healthy eating plan.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Weekly Update

See, all of December there is no Update, now I post two in one week. I really need to get my act together.

Beginning in the new year, January fifth to be exact, the girl will be starting preschool.
This was not an easy decision for me. I feel a bit like a quitter, but I think it's really what's best for right now. Our mutual meltdowns are happening with more frequency and it breaks my heart that the majority of time we are together is spent with me yelling at her.

She will only be going two days a week but I think that's the perfect amount of time to give us both a little break from each other and expose her to new things. For her part, she's thrilled. She's been wanting to go to "school" for a long time and she already picked out her lunchbox. Plus, my mom will be her teacher so that of course is a huge plus. The fact that my mom is a preschool teacher definitely lessens that feeling that I'm throwing my child to the wolves.

Sunday the kids and I attempted to make cake balls. The recipe can be found over at Bread & Honey. Pop over there, scroll down to the end of the post so you can see what they are supposed to look like, then come back and look at mine.
Yeah, totally not looking the same. We mastered the cake and ball part but had some trouble with the rolling them in the chocolate part. I had a real difficult time keeping my chocolate from hardening in the pan and by the end the chocolate was in crumbles. (Any suggestions as to the proper way to do this would be appreciated....)

Even though they are on the ugly side, they still taste pretty good and the kids loved destroying the cake and making balls.

Of course, the entire time the boy was saying things such as Look at my balls, My balls are so perfectly round, etc. Disgusting yes, but I have to take some of the blame for this considering I'm the one that allows him to watch this Saturday Night Live clip:



Secretly, I'm quite proud.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

I Love Playing Tag

I've been tagged by KraftyKash. Apparently I love talking about myself because I am always willing to list random junk about myself.

Here are The Rules:
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
5. Let each person know they've been tagged and leave a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Here are the weird/random things about me:

1. I have a horrific coffee addiction. Sometimes I drink 10-12 cups a day. I've been drinking coffee since I was 13 years old and I'm really scared that if/when I have to stop drinking it, it's going to be very, very difficult....like battling a heroin addiction.

2. I know all the words to American Pie by Don Mclean. When I was a kid I listened to it over and over again. Keep in mind this was before cd's, so this involved a lot of rewinding and fast forwarding. I accidentally left the tape in my mom's car and she took it to the mechanics. When the car came home, my cassette tape was gone. Damn mechanics.

3. I also used to know all the lyrics to REM's It's the End of the World as We Know It. Again, by fast forwarding and rewinding until I got every word. Unfortunately, I've forgotten all those lyrics. (It is occurring to me now that I may have been a bit of a loser/dork.)

4. My musical tastes now are mainly along the lines of folk/alternative/singer songwriter kinda stuff. But.....I love Shaggy. Really, I love just about every Shaggy song.

5. Even though I live in Gainesville Florida, I hate Gator football and get really sick of the pack mentality that surrounds the game. Also, Tim Tebow and all his self-righteousness and "God bless yous" and "Thank the Lords" totally makes me sick. I find it incredibly phony. Since most of you don't live in Gainesville, let me just say that what I just typed is pretty much considered sacrilege. (No offense is meant to my friends here in Gainesville that are fans.....these are just my opinions. Also I sorta stole the idea for this random fact from Krafty...hey, it was appropriate.)

5. When my husband and I were first dating we had a contest to see who could fit the most Skittles in their mouth without spitting any out or getting sick. I won. And he still married me.

6. I love the taste of dry ramen noodles. I could open a package and just bite into the brick of ramen. I haven't done this in a while though because really, who eats ramen when they don't have to?

There! Six random/weird things. I've already tagged just about everyone who reads this EXCEPT...Mari at Maybe in Utah. You're it. Everyone else, if you want to play along...just consider yourself tagged.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Weekly Update

As usual, this update is hopelessly late. The name Weekly Update hardly fits anymore. Maybe a Monthly Update or an Every-Six-Weeks Update would be more doable.

The girl has been beyond difficult lately. I'm mentioned before that of my two children, she is definitely my problem child. She's loud and rambunctious and very talkative. She wakes up between six and seven every morning and is a bundle of non-stop energy until she crashes at seven at night. She doesn't nap. As she's gotten older she's become sneaky and mischievous and occasionally a bit of a liar. I love her to pieces, she's my princess...but sometimes it's not easy being around her. The last week or two my goal has just been to get through the days with as few meltdowns (by her or me) as possible.
Yesterday, even though it was wet and foggy and I would have rather just stayed in my pajamas, Jay and I took her to the park. Usually she's calm after the park and can be relied on to go home and color or play in her room quietly. Not yesterday...it seemed to only wind her up more.After two days of extra bad behaviour, I'm tired and overwhelmed and ready for bedtime. Hers and mine.

On our way home from the park we drove past a house that was throwing away this puppet theatre:It actually came from the same house that was throwing away the record player two weeks ago. Those people have the best junk. I've always wanted a puppet theatre. When I was a kid I would have loved to have one of these...hell, I'm pretty amused with it now at 32. My kids both agree that it's cool, but aren't real interested in it. Which makes me very glad I never actually spent any money on one. Sadly, it may just be getting sold at the next garage sale.

After this week the boy will be out of school until the beginning of January. Frankly, I'm about ready for a break from his school as well. Lately a lot of his projects and responsibilities have involved work from me and Jay and I'm definitely feeling thinly stretched. Tomorrow he's having a class luncheon and all the kids had to pick a country and bring in a traditional dish from it. The boy chose Canada, thinking it would be easy. Now I don't know if I was just looking at the wrong websites but I did numerous Google searches along the lines of "traditional Canadian foods" and the dishes that came up either a.) involved way too much preparation for me and the boy, b.) were made with ingredients not readily available to me, c.) didn't sound kid friendly, or d.) would have been too difficult for me to make in amounts large enough to feed a class of 25.

We finally decided on something called Sucre a la Creme, which is a candy with a sort of fudge like consistency. It's delicious but very, very sweet. (Note: I couldn't find the link to the exact version of the recipe that I used, but the above link will take you to one that is very similar. The only difference is that the one I used also called for 2 tablespoons of butter.)

Sorry this Update is on the bitchy/grumbly side. Before I go, I do want to leave you with a few things that are bringing me a bit of happiness lately:

Reading: The Wordy Shipmates by Sarah Vowell and Stitched in Time by Alicia Paulson.
Enjoying: This J.C. Penney add. I laughed out loud. Well worth the time it takes to watch it. (Thanks again, Amy!)
Watching: Season One of 24. I just couldn't wait until January for my Jack Bauer fix.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Things I'm Into Right Now

Cooking: I have been in my kitchen a lot lately. I can't seem to stay out. Not only am I regularly using Apples for Jam (seriously, it's already dog-eared and covered in flour), but we've also been eating these applesauce cupcakes. I love these cupcakes because they have a lot of apples and applesauce, so they're (relatively speaking) healthy. I don't put icing on mine, so they are a bit more appropriate for everyday school lunches or a quick breakfast. Another yummy thing we've tried are these brown rice patties. When I first saw the recipe, I wanted to try those patties immediately, but I really wasn't sure what the rest of the family would think of them. I was pleasantly surprised because everyone loved them and ate their fill. My family tries to eat meatless dinners a few times a week, so it's nice to have another recipe to throw into the rotation. We've also decided that we are going to eat entirely vegetarian on Christmas day. So far on the menu we have this mushroom, cheese, and vegetable strudel and a tiramisu trifle. I'm really looking forward to December 25.

Watching Funny Movies: The Oh in Ohio and Run Fat Boy Run. Both hilarious. (Thanks Amy in Sebastopol!)

January 11, 2009: Begins the new season of 24. You could say I'm sort of looking forward to it.

Letter Writing (but not the fun kind): This year congress passed the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act. While I love the idea of someone ensuring that mass produced toys are safe for my kids, this law will totally destroy all the small businesses and independent folks who make handmade toys with love and care. This law could pretty much kill the Etsy toy makers. Please click on the teddy bear button at the top of the page to find out how you can help, and then DO SO.

***Updated to add: My husband knows I hate talking on the phone and when he heard about the new law he pledged to call our local representatives. Because he's such an awesome guy.***

Friday, December 12, 2008

Fifty Books....Continued

A few of you have asked me what books from the list are my favorites. I had thought about compiling a "best of" but was worried that maybe you guys were getting sick of me blathering on and on about books. But since you asked.........Here are my Top Five (in no particular order):

*Geek Love by Katherine Dunn.
(The "Geek" in the title is referring to a circus geek--someone who bites the heads off of live chickens. Not a fix-your-computer Geek.)
Geek Love is about a family of circus freaks. The mama and papa in the book took steps during mama's numerous pregnancies to ensure that she would give birth to children with bizarre genetic abnormalities. The story is told from the perspective of Olympia--a bald, albino, humpbacked, dwarf---and she's the most normal one. This is one of the more disturbing, disgusting books I've ever read. And I couldn't put it down.

*When You Are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris.
This one needs no explanation. It's David Sedaris---what is there not to love?

*Maus and Maus II by Art Spiegelman
The Maus books are a really good depiction of the Holocaust. In it, the Jews are mice and Germans are cats. It's not a light read by any means, but it makes the horrific nature of the Holocaust a bit easier to swallow, while still being truthful. I wish I could get all my history in the form of graphic novels.

*The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
The Glass Castle is a memoir about the extremely dysfunctional family of Jeanette Walls. It is depressing but also bittersweet and uplifting. I actually had to put this book down for a few days because I found parts of it so sad and disturbing. If I had to recommend only one book on my list, it would probably be this one. Everyone I know who has read it, was mesmerized by it. Both Jay and my best friend finished it in a few days, and my sister-in-law finished it in one morning, stopping only a few times to change her son's diapers. It's a really, really good book.

*Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
I'm pretty sure I wrote about this book here in great detail around the time I was reading it so I'm probably going to repeat myself. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle chronicles the year that Kingsolver and her family vowed to eat only food they could get locally. Of all the books I read this year, this one probably had the biggest personal impact on me. After reading it I realized how little I know about the food my family and I eat. Plus, it inspired me to make a few more trips to the farmers market.

And on the flip side:

The most overrated book on the list would have to be Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski. Bukowski's work does nothing for me. But I am glad I read it---because now I have an educated, albeit negative, opinion.

As a side note:

Last year I read the Persepolis books. Because of when I read them, they aren't on the list, but I highly recommend them and just couldn't make this list without mentioning them. In case you don't know, they tell the story of Marjane Satrapi, a girl who grew up in Tehran during very violent and tumultuous times. Her family chooses to stay because they are extremely well educated and have worked very hard for all that they have, and leaving their home and coming to America would mean taking jobs like taxi driver or housekeeper. Before reading these books it never occurred to me that people who come to this country from other lands may be well educated or have held prestigious jobs in their home land. I just never stopped to think about it. These books truly educated me. I honestly believe they've made me a better person. *There is also an animated movie based on these books. While I don't think it should be seen in place of reading the books, it's still hauntingly beautiful.*

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fifty Books

This year I set a goal to read fifty books. I had a few simple rules:

*The list cannot include children's books that I read to the kids.

*No cook/home decorating/design/sewing books unless I truly felt as if I had read them from cover to cover.

*Easy to read graphic novels can be included but the list shouldn't be largely comprised of them.

Pretty vague rules, huh? And obviously they rely heavily on my own personal honor system. But the challenge itself was just that...personal. I used to love reading and was constantly immersed in a book or two. Since having kids though, reading hasn't been as easy and I've strayed not only from doing it, but enjoying it. The point of this project was to remind myself of how much I love books, not to stress out about reaching some hard to attain goal. If you've been following along all year, you're aware I met the goal. Now here, in alphabetical order by the authors last name, is a list of the fifty (plus one!) books I read:

1. I Was a Really Good Mom Before I Had Kids by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nobile
2. Go Green, Live Rich by David Bach
3. A Promise to Ourselves by Alec Baldwin
4. The Wonder Spot by Melissa Bank
5. Cruddy by Lynda Barry
6. Dear Zoe by Philip Beard
7. Ham on Rye by Charles Bukowski
8. Big Baby by Charles Burns
9. Black Hole by Charles Burns
10. The Fruit Cocktail Diaries by Brian Carmody
11. Ghost World by Daniel Clowes
12. Ice Haven by Daniel Clowes
13. Wacky Chicks by Simon Doonan
14. But Enough About Me by Jancee Dunn
15. Geek Love by Katherine Dunn
16. The Memory Keepers Daughter by Kim Edwards
17. Eat Pray Love by Elizabeth Gilbert
18. The Traveling Death and Resurrection Show by Ariel Gore
19. Breeder by Ariel Gore
20. The Mother Trip by Ariel Gore
21. The Other Boleyn Girl by Philippa Gregory
22. Marley and Me by John Grogan
23. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime by Mark Haddon
24. The Collected Stories of Amy Hempel by Amy Hempel
25. Safety of Objects by A.M. Homes
26. A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving
27. How to Print with Anything from Potatoes to Linoleum by Lotta Jansdotter
28. No One Belongs Here More Than You by Miranda July
29. Edmund and Rosemary Go To Hell by Bruce Eric Kaplan
30. Things I've Learned from Women Who've Dumped Me by Ben Karlin
31. The Squirrel Mother by Megan Kelso
32. She Got Up Off the Couch by Haven Kimmel
33. The Solace of Leaving Early by Haven Kimmel
34. Animal, Vegetable, Miracle by Barbara Kingsolver
35. Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott
36. Vegan with a Vengeance by Isa Chandra Moskowvitz
37. Kafka on the Shore by Haruki Murakami
38. Fat Girls and Lawn Chairs by Cheryl Peck
39. Awkward and Definition by Ariel Schrag
40. When You are Engulfed in Flames by David Sedaris
41. The Creative Family by Amanda Blake Soule
42. Maus by Art Spiegelman
43. Maus II by Art Spiegelman
44. Fruits Basket (Volume One) by Natsuki Takaya
45. Good-Bye Chunky Rice by Craig Thompson
46. Sleepwalk by Adrian Tomine
47. About Alice by Calvin Trillin
48. Full Frontal Feminism by Jessica Valenti
49. The Glass Castle by Jeanette Walls
50. Revolutionary Road by Richard Yates
51. The Easter Parade by Richard Yates

I love that I was able to reach my goal, but I don't think I'm going to set a similar goal for next year. There were times throughout the year that I was reading books so quickly that I felt as if I was missing something, maybe not getting the whole story. Until going over the list just now, I had actually forgotten that I had read some of these books.

I've rekindled my love affair with books this past year, so I do plan on reading quite a bit, writing about the books here, and documenting it at Goodreads. And as always, I would love to hear your book suggestions. I do take them all to heart and they've influenced some of my choices. So please share, what books are on your nightstand right now?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Things I'm Into Right Now

There have been a few aggravations in my life this morning (one being a strange smell in the living room that I cannot for the life of me find the source of.) I thought it would be a good time to stop dwelling on these aggravations and focus on some of the little things that are making me happy at the moment.

*This adorable kitty cat hat for the girl, bought from my blogging friend Mari's Etsy Shop: Lately every time I turn the camera on my daughter she makes silly faces and tends to ham it up a bit. Because of that, none of these pictures look exactly how I want them to look, but I guess you get the idea that she likes the hat.Mari's hats are fun, she can make them in a wide range of sizes, and they're very reasonably priced. So do check her out.It's in the twenties here, so if the girl is playing outside today she will definitely be wearing hers.

*This picture of the boy: Eating a chicken leg and eyeing the dog:Our dogs are incredibly ill mannered and will take whatever food is in reach.

*Edmund and Rosemary Go to HellThis is a short little book written by a cartoonist for the New Yorker. It's mostly pictures, with only a sentence or two on each page, but it made me stop and think for a few moments and be a bit more appreciative of what I have. Try and get your hands on a copy---it takes all of ten minutes to read and it's worth the time.

*Art projects using homemade glue:When Jay saw me in the kitchen stirring my pot of homemade sticky goo, he asked what I was making. When I told him homemade glue, he was like, "Great idea. Cause I was just about to talk to you about our glue budget being so high lately." Whatever. The homemade glue was fun. (The recipe can be found in this book.)

*Sunday Morning Drives. Most Sundays, Jay and I will hop in the car, stop for coffee, and then drive around some of the older, prettier, more historic neighborhoods in our town. We do this without the kids usually, so we can talk or just have a little bit of quiet. Almost always we come across boxes or furniture at the ends of peoples yards or driveways marked "Free." I would be lying if I told you that this wasn't a big part of why we go---it's like finding treasure. Do other cities and towns do this or is Gainesville just a very giving city? Anyway, yesterday we hit the mother lode. Here are just a few of our finds:


All these dishes are dainty and fragile. I thought about selling them at my next garage sale but I think I may just keep them from myself.

A small bag of coins from around the world:

I love this breakfast tray. Unlike a lot of older breakfast trays I come across, this one is wood-not metal. When I brought it home it was so filthy I didn't even know it was wood. It's definitely one of my favorite pieces.

All of the above items came from the same house along with some vintage lace gloves, napkins, lace doilies, and tablecloths. I'm thinking that the owner of the house is a very old lady. I wish I had been around to go to her actual garage sale. But I'm pretty pleased with the leftovers.

A few streets over we came across a large piece of furniture covered with a tarp. It had a sign on it that read, "Free. Works." At the time we weren't even sure what it was, Jay just knew he wanted it and that it wouldn't fit in our car with all our other finds. So he brought me home and went back to get this:

(Sorry for the crappy quality of the photo---the light was bad this morning and I was not about to lug this thing to a room with better light.)

It looks like just an antique cabinet, but open it up and it's a working turntable.

I am in love with this! The sound quality is a bit off, but Jay thinks he can fix it. Yesterday I listened to one my favorite 80's records of all time:Do They Know It's Christmas by Band Aid. Heavenly. Want to see some mullets and eighties clothes? Pop over to You Tube and watch the video. You know you want to......)

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Random Thoughts

*This morning I was ripping through the boy's room searching for an overdue/lost library book and I came across a Mandalas Coloring Book. Before my daughter was born, my son and I would sit and color these every afternoon. I don't know what it is about those lovely circular patterns that are so soothing.

Since my daughter is a child that could always use a good calming down, I got out all the art supplies and the kids and I sat at the picnic table and colored.The process worked on her. She was calm and (relatively) quiet as we colored. I really need to get more of these books.
*When she was done, she grabbed my camera and took this picture:
This, in my opinion, is a perfect picture of me. Only half my face can be seen, and it was taken from far enough away that you can't see all the food I've slopped down the front of my shirt throughout the day.

*My latest Freecycle acquisition is this picnic basket:Check out the inside:The basket is in pristine condition and I can't wait to take it to the park filled with goodies. The gal I got it from was so very cool. ( I always seem to meet all these groovy chicks right before they move out of state.)

*Have I ever mentioned here how much I hate the band The Eagles? When I was little my father was a fan of them and whenever we would go anywhere in his truck we had to listen to the Eagles. I was scared to death of the cassette cover with that strange eagle skull thing on it:Plus, as far as I'm concerned, the song Hotel California is just nightmare inducing. You can check out anytime you like.....but you can NEVER LEAVE.

~~~~Creepy~~~~

Besides The Eagles, the only other type of music my dad listened to was country music in spanish. So, yeah.....I guess The Eagles suck a little less than that. A little.

*In case you are wondering, I never did find the library book. It appears I'm going to owe the Alachua County Public Library System $6.99.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

More Thoughts on My Kitchen

As mentioned, we are redoing the kitchen a bit. Nothing fancy or costly, just new paint and a few matching, inexpensive accessories.

One thing that I'm totally loving, is this pantry curtain that I made:
Keep in mind, I'm using the term "made" in the loosest possible sense, as this is nothing more than two yards of fabric hemmed on three sides with a pocket at the top for a curtain rod. I'm sure a craftier person could do a better, fancier job. But as I see it, if someone is coming to my house inspecting my pantry curtains for flaws, they are probably assholes and should not have been invited to my home in the first place.

Getting back to the pantry.........Previously there was a cheap, plastic door there that was doing nothing for me. A curtain was much less expensive than a whole new door, plus I love the homey feel it gives the kitchen. Also, I think the fabric is just out of this world.It's so kitschy and for some reason, it makes me think of John Waters. In case you're wondering, it's Alexander Henry's In the Kitchen and I bought it at the Aliyah's Hope Chest Etsy shop. (I just checked her shop and it appears she's all out of it, but I did spot some snazzy IKEA fabric.)

While in my lovely kitchen today, I made another recipe from Apples for Jam. I really cannot say enough great things about this book. This morning's dish was White Loaf with honey, butter, and pecans. It's basically just a loaf of bread with a sticky, gooey topping. And it's amazing. I had taken pictures, but because I have no natural light in my kitchen, everything has a strange, yellowish glow. My kitchen photos tend to look nothing like reality and don't do the food any justice, so you'll just have to take my word on this one.

As a final note, I wanted to thank you all for your comments on Monday's post. I had no idea so many of you currently have (or had at one time) ugly kitchens. We should form a club.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Catnip

Here are some pictures of the asshole stray cat (aka my new cat.....my sixth cat!) killing my only pot of catnip.
The Aftermath:
As a side note, I took a quiz the other day about the above cat and here are the results:So.....yeah, If you don't hear from me for a few days.......you know who to interrogate.
Pray for me.

Monday Morning Ramblings

It's quiet around here. Everyone is back to work and school, and I've started in on the list of things I want to get done today. Number one on the list: Stop Eating. Really. The amount of food I've managed to ingest since Thursday is just shameful and embarrassing. I'm sitting here at the moment sipping herbal tea, trying to ease my stomach back into the habit of not eating enough to feed a small nation.

Something I've been meaning to share with all of you, my wonderful bloggy friends, is the state of my kitchen. But in order to tell you about it's current state, I have to give you a little background. When we bought our house, my kitchen was an outdated, dank, shit hole. The appliances were old (and not "cool" old, just old), the wall paper was awful, the cabinets were ugly and the counter tops don't match, which is something you may have caught a glimpse of in this picture from the previous post:Anyway, in the last two years, all the appliances have died and been replaced. Slowly, all the wall paper was ripped off.(Really slowly.......it took me a year. To say I wasn't motivated to work on this room of the house would be the understatement of the century.)

Then two weeks ago, Jay and I spent the better part of our Sunday painting the kitchen while listening to the soundtrack to The Sopranos. Now it is the lovely color you see in the above picture of the girl. Presently, we don't have the funds to do the complete kitchen overhaul we fantasize about, but the new color makes the room a bit more bearable and draws your eyes away from the mismatched counter tops.

I've been keeping my eyes open for red accessories to coordinate with the kitchen. I bought these cute salt and pepper shakers off of Etsy for only $3:

And I already owned a napkin holder that matches well:I got this years ago for 25 cents at Goodwill. I don't know what it means but I think it's quirky and fun. So if anyone speaks or reads whatever language that is, please enlighten me.

When we first moved into this house, the amount of work that needed to be done was massive and overwhelming. I couldn't imagine it ever looking like how I visioned. But little by little, and ever so slowly, it's getting there. There is still so much we want to do, but throughout the house are little pockets of pretty and if I go in them, squint my eyes, and use my imagination, I can see it all coming together. Beer helps too.